Beyond antioxidants, the fiber content of kale binds bile acids and helps lower blood cholesterol levels and reduce the risk of heart disease, especially when the kale is cooked instead of raw. The fibrous components of kale do a better job of binding with bile acids in your digestive tract when they've been steamed. That makes it easier for bile acids to be excreted, resulting in lower cholesterol levels. Raw kale still has cholesterol-lowering ability--just not as much.
**Anyone taking anticoagulants such as warfarin should avoid kale, because the high level of vitamin K may interfere with the drugs. Consult your doctor if you think this may apply to you before adding kale to your diet.**
Kale may be a powerhouse of nutrients but it also contains oxalates, naturally occuring substances that may interfere with calcium absorption. Hence avoid eating calcium-rich foods like dairy at the same time you eat kale in order to prevent any problems.
Kale is higher in iron than beef--and iron helps with the formation of hemoglobin and enzymes and is essential for liver function and cell growth.
For some good websites on kale and its properties (and many other foods, too), see http://www.whfoods.com/index.php, http://nutritiondata.self.com, and http://www.rawfamily.com.
Sweet Kale Smoothie
- 2 cups of chopped kale
- 1 cut-up banana
- 1 cup of frozen mango chunks
- 1 cup of frozen pineapple
- 1 cup of water (or 1/4 cup of orange juice)
|Kale Smoothie (http://alaskavegan.wordpress.com/)|
- 1 bunch kale, tough stems and center ribs removed
- 1 avocado, peeled & chopped
- 2 tbsp lemon juice
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tsp fresh ginger root, minced
- 1/2 medium onion, minced
- 1 large apple, cored & chopped
- 1/2 cup raw cashews, chopped
Cucumber Dill-icious Soup--recipe by Valya Boutenko (see here)--the page has other green smoothie and soup recipes too. This makes a very thick soup, served cold or at room temp. It almost can be used as a dip, too! Makes about 2 qts. For commonly asked questions about green smoothies and such, click here.
- 2 cucumbers (no need to peel if they're organic), cut in chunks
- 1/2 bunch dill
- 1 large avocado, peeled & chunked
- 5 leaves dino kale, stems removed
- 2 stalks celery
- 1 lime, juiced
- 3 cloves garlic, peeled